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Fiction: Mystery/Detective

Fiction: Mystery/Detective

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A Box of Tricks, Brett, Simon
21 Brett, Simon A Box of Tricks
London Victor Gollancz Ltd 1985 0-575-03585-4 / 9780575035850 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj 
[nice tight clean book, one tiny dent in bottom edge of each cover, no other significant wear; jacket shows just a trace of wrinkling at top and bottom edges of front panel]. The author's first collection of short stories, a dozen tales of murder: "There are simple murders and ingenious murders; successful and unsuccessful murders; premeditated and impulsive murders; murders triggered by hatred and murders for gain; murder to end blackmail and murder as blackmail; crazed murderers, murderers caught in their own trap, murderers who get away with it. There's even murder as a practical joke. Finally, as a bonus to Simon Brett fans, there's a Charles Paris story, in which his familiar actor-detective copes very cleverly with the threats to the life of a faded star." 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Surprise Party Murder, Brewster, Eugene V.
22 Brewster, Eugene V. Surprise Party Murder
New York Greenberg: Publisher (c.1936) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [moderate external wear along spine and bottom edge, and at corners; ex-circulating library book, lightly stamped as such on both pastedown and endpapers, with an additional "withdrawn" stamp over each library stamp and a catalog number and date at the upper corner of front pastedown; the circulating library in question was that of the City of Paris, a noted San Francisco department store]. Uncommon mystery novel, not listed in Hubin, about "Old Elias Carey [who] is found murdered in his study on the night of his oldest son's birthday party. Suspicion centers on one person only -- his son, with evidence enough to incriminate him beyond a reasonable doubt. Mr. Brewster has written an unusual story -- partly because he has avoided the time-worn, conventional plan of casting suspicion on almost everyone connected with the story -- but mostly because of the ingenious method which the actual murderer employed to center all suspicion on an innocent man." The author was best-known as the publisher and editor of various silent-era movie fan magazines (among them the gorgeously-produced "Shadowland"); this was apparently his only foray into crime fiction. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Green Wood Burns Slow, Brice, Monica
23 Brice, Monica Green Wood Burns Slow
Boston/New York Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company 1938 First Edition Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [ex-library (marked as such only by presence of diagonal card holder on rear pastedown and "FIC" stamped on top edge; otherwise a solid enough copy, actually quite clean overall but with some deterioration (nibbling?) to the cloth at the right edge of the front cover, and a few small rubber-stamps (bookseller and one-time owner, not library) inside the front cover]. Mystery novel -- apparently the author's only book -- about a couple of guys who pull off a jewel robbery; set primarily in New York City and Providence, Rhode Island. A contemporary reviewer felt that the "plot is rather ingenious, and there is action enough, but a murder or two would have made the story much more interesting." (There are, however, apparently "three love stories that develop along with the other excitement." A scarce book, but who cares? It made hardly a ripple (let alone a splash) in 1938, and has faded into a possibly deserved obscurity; it might have had a cool-looking dust jacket, but unfortunately that won't help this copy. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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The Paper Gun: A Paul Pine Mystery [*SIGNED*], Browne, Howard
24 Browne, Howard The Paper Gun: A Paul Pine Mystery [*SIGNED*]
Belen NM Dennis McMillan Publications 1985 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by Allen Browne Signed by Author
[nice copy, tight and unworn, just a trace of dust-smudging on top edge; jacket shows extremely light surface handling wear]. Limited/numbered edition of 350 copies, this being no. 83, and SIGNED on the limitation page by both the author and his son (the jacket artist); this copy additionally SIGNED by the publisher, Dennis McMillan, on the copyright page. The author, in his foreword, explains that "The Paper Gun" is "a story complete in itself," but more in the nature of "a completely detailed synopsis on paper" than a fully-realized novel; he attributes this to the fact that, after having written four novels featuring detective Paul Pine, he simply "lost interest in the private-eye genre." Also included here is a novelette, "So Dark for April," which was written for "Manhunt" magazine in the mid-50's, and was the only short piece involving Paul Pine that he had produced. Signed by Author 
Price: 100.00 USD
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Nobody Lives Forever, Burnett, W.R.
25 Burnett, W.R. Nobody Lives Forever
New York Alfred A. Knopf 1943 First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [solid copy, moderate edgewear, slight fraying of cloth at top of spine, spine cloth darkened, small red mark on bottom page edges]. 
Price: 45.00 USD
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Nobody Lives Forever, Burnett, W.R.
26 Burnett, W.R. Nobody Lives Forever
New York Alfred A. Knopf 1943 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) Gene Allen 
[attractive copy with light shelfwear to bottom edge, vintage price sticker on rear pastedown; jacket shows some wear at spine ends, short closed tear and associated diagonal crease at bottom of rear panel]. "The adventures of a big-time swindler, who starts a carefully organized campaign to swindle a rich, unworldly widow and becomes entangled in a tragic situation impossible to foresee." Basis for the 1946 Warner Bros. film of the same name, starring John Garfield and Geraldine Fitzgerald. The film had a long gestation period: an original Burnett story by that title (although it's not clear that the plot was the same) was purchased by Warner Bros. in August 1941, and its upcoming production was announced to star Humphrey Bogart and Ann Sheridan. According to Robin Smiley ("Firsts," January 2002), Burnett had finished the screenplay for the planned film by mid-1943, well before the book itself hit the shelves, and production was completed on the film in late 1944 by director Jean Negulesco, although "for some unknown reason" (Smiley) the studio didn't deign to release it until late 1946, purportedly after Garfield's star had ascended a bit after the success of MGM's THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE. (There may be more to the delay than that, however; some deeper research is clearly called for.) 
Price: 175.00 USD
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Nobody Lives Forever, Burnett, W.R.
27 Burnett, W.R. Nobody Lives Forever
New York Alfred A. Knopf 1943 First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Gene Allen 
[light soiling to top and bottom edges of covers, flowery gift inscription (non-authorial) on ffep, bookplate on front pastedown; jacket is trimmed roughly 1/8"-1/4" along top and bottom edges, small stain at upper right corner of rear panel]. "The adventures of a big-time swindler, who starts a carefully organized campaign to swindle a rich, unworldly widow and becomes entangled in a tragic situation impossible to foresee." Basis for the 1946 Warner Bros. film of the same name, starring John Garfield and Geraldine Fitzgerald. The film had a long gestation period: an original Burnett story by that title (although it's not clear that the plot was the same) was purchased by Warner Bros. in August 1941, and its upcoming production was announced to star Humphrey Bogart and Ann Sheridan. According to Robin Smiley ("Firsts," January 2002), Burnett had finished the screenplay for the planned film by mid-1943, well before the book itself hit the shelves, and production was completed on the film in late 1944 by director Jean Negulesco, although "for some unknown reason" (Smiley) the studio didn't deign to release it until late 1946, purportedly after Garfield's star had ascended a bit after the success of MGM's THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE. (There may be more to the delay than that, however; some deeper research is clearly called for.) 
Price: 50.00 USD
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The Asphalt Jungle, Burnett, W.R.
28 Burnett, W.R. The Asphalt Jungle
New York Alfred A. Knopf 1949 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) E. McKnight Kauffer 
[ex-rental library book (American Lending Library, Inc.) with attendant markings (stamps on endpapers, remnants of formerly glued-down dust jacket flaps on both pastedowns, "LIBRARY COPY" stamped on bottom edge), but just modest shelfwear; generally a clean, solid book; the jacket is quite decent, but has two major flaws: (1) an orange-tape label across the spine, stating the rental rates, and (2) the fact that it's trimmed along the bottom edge, and is thus about 3/8" shorter than the book itself; it's also worth noting that this particular dust jacket is *not* the one whose remnants are still affixed to this book, since the jacket flaps are fully intact]. Classic novel of the urban underworld. One of Burnett's best, and the basis for the terrific 1950 film adaptation by writer/director John Huston and co-writer Ben Maddow. 
Price: 65.00 USD
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Bay of the Damned, Carrier, Warren
29 Carrier, Warren Bay of the Damned
New York The John Day Company 1957 First Edition Hardcover Good+ in Fair dj 
[book shelfworn at edges/corners, Good+ in Good- dj [book shelfworn at edges/corners, a couple of crimped page corners, former owner's sticker on ffep; jacket worn, torn, heavily chipped at spine extremities]. "A novel of suspense" set in Miami and South Florida. A reformed gambler and nightclub operator spills his guts to a senatorial committee investigating underworld activities, which earns him the undying enmity of the Chicago Syndicate and threatens his "retirement" to a secluded cay south of Miami. 
Price: 10.00 USD
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Thus Was Adonis Murdered, Caudwell, Sarah
30 Caudwell, Sarah Thus Was Adonis Murdered
New York Charles Scribner's Sons (c.1981) 0-684-17294-1 / 9780684172941 1st (U.S.) edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Tim Gaydos 
[nice clean book, minimal shelfwear, spine very slightly turned; jacket dog-eared at top of spine, a little wear at top corners, one-inch tear and associated creasing at top of front panel]. The author's debut, "a novel of murder in Venice." 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Killer in the Rain, Chandler, Raymond
31 Chandler, Raymond Killer in the Rain
London Hamish Hamilton 1964 NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) John Andrew 
[nice clean copy, minimal shelfwear, spine the slightest bit turned; jacket lightly browned at spine and at inside edges of flaps, very slight wear at corners, some soiling to rear panel but otherwise very attractive, NO tears or chips]. Good-looking copy of the true first edition of this title (preceding the Houghton, Mifflin American edition), a posthumous collection of eight early stories that the author referred to as his "cannibalized" work, by which he meant "that in later life he sometimes used episodes and characters from them in the full-length novels which made him famous." In addition to the title story, the volume includes: "Bay City Blues"; "No Crime in the Mountains"; "Mandarin's Jade"; "The Lady in the Lake"; "Try the Girl"; "The Curtain"; and "The Man Who Liked Dogs." 
Price: 100.00 USD
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Twelve Chinks and a Woman, Chase, James Hadley
32 Chase, James Hadley Twelve Chinks and a Woman
[no place stated] Howell, Soskin (c.1941) First Edition Hardcover Fair 
(no dust jacket) [ex-rental library book, intact but quite shelfworn, with considerable paper residue/remnants on front cover and both pastedowns, fading to spine cloth, some kind of white stain along rear hinge, etc.; a reading copy, nothing more]. Typical Chase pulp, with a classic politically-incorrect title (changed for most later editions to the more benign "Twelve Chinamen and a Woman"). Quote from the tiny portion of the jacket text that remains on the front pastedown: "This is no book for the faint-hearted. It is for mystery fans who like explosive action." 
Price: 25.00 USD
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The Riot War [*SIGNED*], Cluff, Buster L.
33 Cluff, Buster L. The Riot War [*SIGNED*]
Port Washington NY Ashley Books, Inc. (c.1977) 0-87949-073-X / 9780879490737 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Robert Brokman Signed by Author
(price-clipped) [solid copy, minimal shelfwear, light dust-soiling to top edge; jacket shows a little surface wear (mostly to rear panel), two short diagonal creases at top corner of rear flap]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author on the ffep. "A novel about the white ghetto, as gang-infested and crime-ridden as any. This is a hard-boiled, suspenseful story, but it's also a serious indictment of our society of rich and poor. Rod Shane returns from Viet Nam determined to leave the ghetto, but he quickly becomes embroiled in the old neighborhood where the gangs have turned to international drug traffic. The girl who promised to wait for him has become a junkie and is in the power of the vicious gang leader Otto Smitz." Signed by Author 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Ashes, Coe, Charles Francis
34 Coe, Charles Francis Ashes
New York Random House (c.1952) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ 
(no dust jacket) [good solid book, light shelfwear, lower rear corner slightly bumped, spine somewhat faded, a couple of tiny dark stains on spine near front hinge, whitish stain along top of rear cover]. Novel about a woman political reformer who runs afoul of organized crime. 
Price: 9.00 USD
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Ransom, Coe, Charles Francis
35 Coe, Charles Francis Ransom
New York A.L. Burt Company (c.1934) NO Reprint Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj 
[minor soiling to edges of text block; jacket shows a bit of wear at corners and spine ends]. Crime novel about a thief who executes a "perfect" kidnapping of an infant girl, one element of which involves stashing her with an unsuspecting family while he begins a two-year campaign to extract ransom money from the girl's father. Unfortunately for all concerned, however, he gets pinched (while visiting Canada) for a previously-committed crime, is convicted, and sentenced to twenty years in a Canadian prison. When he's released in 1933, he's faced with two immediate problems: (1) how to navigate an entirely different criminal landscape (Prohibition and all that having happened in the meantime); and (2) how to find the kidnapped girl, now grown to adulthood. The book was made into an interesting movie called NANCY STEELE IS MISSING! by director George Marshall at 20th Century-Fox in 1937, with Victor McLaglen and Peter Lorre. 
Price: 100.00 USD
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Heir Apparent [*SIGNED*], Coscarelli, Kate
36 Coscarelli, Kate Heir Apparent [*SIGNED*]
New York St. Martin's Press 1993 0-312-09305-5 / 9780312093051 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj 
[very nice copy, with a couple of teeny-tiny dents in top edge of front cover; jacket very slightly wrinkled along top edge]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED/DATED (in the year of publication) by the author on the ffep. "A snappy, fast-breaking mystery/suspense in which a daughter and deposed heir to a California food consortium survives a brace of murders, heavy police suspicion, the terror of a stalker, and a final calamitous showdown." -- Kirkus Reviews, as quoted on a promotional postcard for the book, laid in to this copy. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Lullaby Town, Crais, Robert
37 Crais, Robert Lullaby Town
New York Bantam Books 1993 0-553-08197-7 / 9780553081978 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Fine dj Illustrated by (dj) Todd Shorr 
[very nice copy, the spine ever so slightly turned and the itsy-bitsiest trace of shelfwear to the bottom corners (many would still call it Fine, but I'm a little finicky about that); the jacket is beautiful, clean and unclipped]. The third and scarcest Elvis Cole novel, in which a hot young director ("the third most powerful filmmaker in America") hires the smart-ass detective to find his ex-wife and infant child. 
Price: 200.00 USD
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Bordersnakes, Crumley, James
38 Crumley, James Bordersnakes
New York The Mysterious Press 1996 0-89296-573-8 / 9780892965731 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) Rachel McClain 
[nice tight book, light finger-smudging to fore-edge, no significant wear, NO remainder mark; jacket shows a bit of light scuffing and other surface wear]. The author's first and only teaming of his two fictional detectives, Milo Milodragovitch of Montana and C.W. Sughrue of Texas. He was once quoted as saying that "Milo's first impulse is to help you; Sughrue's is to shoot you in the foot." 
Price: 8.00 USD
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Dancing Bear [*SIGNED*], Crumley, James
39 Crumley, James Dancing Bear [*SIGNED*]
New York Random House (c.1983) 0394521951 / 9780394521954 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj) Paul Bacon Signed by Author
[a little wear to cloth at bottom edges, light dust-soiling to top page edges; jacket lightly soiled on rear panel]. SIGNED by the author on the title page. His fourth novel, and the second Milo Milodragovitch mystery. The second state of the first edition (with "First Edition" stated on the copyright page). Signed by Author 
Price: 65.00 USD
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The Cabana Murders; a Sergeant Cass Harty Detective Story, Dane, Joel Y.
40 Dane, Joel Y. The Cabana Murders; a Sergeant Cass Harty Detective Story
Garden City NY Doubleday, Doran & Co., for The Crime Club 1937 NO First Edition Hardcover Fair 
(no dust jacket) [spine turned, binding a little weak (but intact), bumping and slight fraying to all corners, one-time owner's name on ffep, some deterioration to cloth at rear joint; internally clean, a perfectly OK reading copy]. The author's second mystery novel, also the second to feature Sergeant Cass Harty, "wisecracking member of the New York Homicide Squad, and his skeptical little stooge, Barney Stauffer." The pair investigate a group of violent murders at a small Long Island beach resort, with one of the mysteries encountered along the way being: "How did a Button Gwinnett autograph find its way into an unmailed package of newspapers?" 
Price: 12.00 USD
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